The Cathedral of St. Thomas is a shining reflection of the British Raj and an important part of the city’s identity. Set to become 300 years old in 2018, The cathedral was built by early British settlers and still stands tall and gleaming today. It was the first Anglican church in the city back then, and is thus a major center for Mumbai’s sizeable Christian population. Named after one of the 12 disciples of Jesus and who visited India, the cathedral lies in what is now Horniman Circle, near Bombay House and Flora Fountain. Managed and operated by The Cathedral & John Connon School, the cathedral was established in 1676, and construction completed in 1718. ALSO READ: 10 Best churches for midnight mass in Mumbai
The school continues to use the church to hold special services on certain days, including November 14 (Children’s Day) and the last day before Christmas vacations. And the Cathedral & John Connon School is old in its own right; it was established in 1860. Once located within the Bombay fortification, its entrance was one of the gates to the fort itself. This is why the area west of the church is called Churchgate, a name that sticks to this day. CHECK OUT: 7 best carol services in Mumbai you must attend to begin your Christmas week
It took more than 40 years to build the church, with the first divine service taking place on the Christmas of 1718. The church became a cathedral in 1837, and the prominent tower and clock were built in 1838. It was renovated 25 years later, with the work ending in 1865. Today, you can find several memorials from the time of the East India Company’s rule and the British Raj. This includes memorials to Captain George Nicholas Hardinge and Rear Admiral Sir Frederick Lewis Maitland, and an effigy of the first Bishop of Bombay, Reverend Thomas Carr.
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